Corruption scandal embroils 57 officials, employees in Chinese state-owned steel plant
Published: May 19, 2021 04:08 PM
Steel billets Photo: CFP

Steel billets Photo: CFP

A corruption scandal involving 57 officials and employees of a large-scale state-owned steel company is ongoing, with almost all of the management team of the company involved. The high-profile case reflects China's resolve to root out corruption in Chinese SOEs. 

Dong Ruizhang, a deputy manager at Kunming Iron and Steel Holding, an SOE based in Anning, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, voluntarily surrendered himself to the legal authorities, according to a statement on the website of the provincial discipline inspection and supervisory organ on Monday.

Meanwhile, a total of 25 other executives at the SOE voluntarily disclosed their violations of law, and the discipline inspection organ at the steel plant has decided to exempt them from criminal investigation.

On April 14, the provincial anti-grate body investigated 19 individuals from the company over violations of Party disciplines and national laws, while 12 other people were detained on suspicion of taking bribes. 

Those under investigation include the steel firm's chairman, deputy general managers, top executives and employees from its wholly-owned subsidiaries, holding companies and joint-stock firms.

Presently, at least 57 people have been found to be involved, reflecting that there is still a long way to go to uncover corruption scandals at SOEs while sending a strong signal that anti-graft bodies are determined to root out all illicit acts.

China Baowu Steel Group Corp, the country's largest steelmaker, signed an agreement with the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Yunnan Province, on February 1, to acquire a 90 percent stake in Kunming Iron & Steel Holding Co, with the transfer to be completed within six months.

Founded in 2003, Kunming Iron & Steel Holding Co's total assets is worth around 64.7 billion yuan ($10.07 billion) as of the end of September 2020, with debts worth 46.1 billion yuan, according to Jiemian News in February. The group has an annual steel production capacity of 10 million tons, which also produces coking coal, titanium and stainless steel.

On April 19, the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission urged local inspection and supervisory organs to consistently target violations and corruptions in SOEs and severely punish those who take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves.

Global Times

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